Rarely, if ever, has a game between two teams who have lost to Stony Brook and Troy been this important. Yes, Army is 2-9 and has exactly zero wins against teams with a winning records, but this is Army versus Navy and records don't matter one bit.
There are many who still can't quite believe how dominant Army was against Air Force in the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy this season. In fact, looking squarely at the games both Army and Navy played against Air Force you would have to say that the Black Knights were by far the more dominant team in victory. Navy, remember, scraped past the Falcons in overtime on a fumble recovery in the end zone.
This was obviously in sharp contrast to the rest of the season where the Army has looked good in patches but has made far too many mistakes at inopportune times. One of the more obvious examples of this was against Rutgers where a 14-7 game late was suddenly blown open into a 28-7 loss. If Army can correct the mistakes there is absolutely no reason that they can't run with a Navy team which has been prone to make odd mistakes themselves.
One of the biggest keys will be shutting down Navy freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Reynolds was the spark which lifted a 1-3 Navy team to a late season surge and bowl eligibility. Reynolds is a tricky customer who only figures to get better the more comfortable he gets in the Mids system. He throws the ball better than you would expect from a freshman in an option system and when he makes the right reads he can be devastating. His problem has been making the correct reads though and there have been times this year where he has missed on big plays by not making the correct move within the system.
If Army wants to beat Navy for the first time in ten years they need to treat Reynolds like they did Air Force quarterback Connor Dietz. On that day the defense played off the charts playing with a speed and intensity that was unmatched at any other point this year. Hopefully with so much on the line the D will step up again because the more Reynolds is beaten up the better the chances will be to force a mistake.
It was 2005 the last time the CIC Trophy was given to the winner of the match, and as we all know it was Navy who came out on top. Records go out of the window when this matchup happens and the phrase any given Sunday (Saturday) was essentially made for Army vs. Navy. The only problem now is the seemingly eternal wait for gameday.
It's Army vs. Navy like its 2005
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